Why The Buddha’s Teaching Is So Special
It does not rely on belief or stories, which can be elaborated and exploited. The Buddha’s teaching is a direct understanding which is proven through reasoning. It also explains why there is evil in the world, and why we might find it difficult to cope.
As long as we rely on beliefs and stories, we will never acquire direct knowledge and wisdom; we will merely copy and cope. We’ll make do. We will always be running behind, trying to catch up, and this can be exploited so that we come back again and again. We feel naked and exposed – when in truth, that’s we what we are! ‘Naked’ is our true nature, and ‘exposed’ refers to our hangups – and we don’t have to feel constantly guilty about these. Once we realise the simple truth about ‘truth’ we are free, and can never again have the wool pulled over our eyes.
In spirituality, there are many colourful and poetic interpretations that generate a mystery of charisma: “Some managers acquire authority through their personal charisma: charm, presence, aura, personality, force of personality, strength of character, individuality; magnetism, animal magnetism, drawing power, attractiveness, appeal, allure, pull; magic, spell, mystique, glamour.”
I once attended a Dharma meeting and proposed that we should find a subject to discuss. Compassion was chosen. The discussion turn into a teacher-adoring session, with stories about what a certain lama did or how they were: it was never about personal experience and how challenging compassion actually is…especially in the presence of such an adoring group! This wasn’t a Dharma group; it was a storytelling group with prayer flags.
The Buddha’s teaching is about the direct experience of pure awareness, pure knowingness, pure perception, and the honest recognition of the obstacles that impede realisation, illusory though they are.
The Buddha’s teaching is realising our true nature, which is the same as every other sentient being. Only then can compassion arise because we have empathy with the experience of obstacles.
The Buddha’s teaching also describes the nature of evil, being likes and dislikes within our own minds. Recognising this, we can easily see how these very teachings on human frailty can be used against us; “Live the dream!” “Love this gadget!” “Hate those people!”
The Buddha’s teachings describe our pure nature as emptiness, awareness and compassion. The obstacle to this realisation is ignorance/indifference to this pure nature, which fabricates desire and aversion – hopes and fears. This stands to reason.
The story that is important is our own experience; what we were and what we are now. We have always been pure compassionate awareness, but were too busy with others’ stories to notice.
The Buddha’s direct teachings are simple and free, but of course simple doesn’t mean easy, and free doesn’t mean it won’t be of great cost to our pride. 😀 The understanding of all this is known as accomplishment.
What’s so special about the Buddha’s teaching? He is showing us how special we are. We are all weighty jewels – Rinpoches. Has anyone called you Rinpoche, Rinpoche?